- November 2 is the 20th anniversary of people continuing to live on the International Space Station.
- In the past two decades, the station has hosted 240 crew members and 3,000 scientific experiments, including growing vegetables in vegetables and studying the human body’s response to microgravity.
- However, the International Space Station needs constant maintenance, and as the service life increases, there will be more problems, such as broken toilets and leaks. A Russian astronaut described some parts of the station as “tired”.
- In the near future, privately owned modules can be added to the International Space Station and then reassembled to form a private space station.
- The United States, Russia, Europe and Japan may eventually orbit the ISS and destroy it by 2030 or earlier.
- Visit Business Insider̵
On November 2, 2000, when astronauts Bill Shepherd (Bill Shepherd) and astronauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev boarded the International Space Station They shook hands in unison during the first batch of aircraft.
Krikalev told NASA in October 2010: “At that time, we were thinking about the present.” He added, “Subconsciously, we know this is a certain threshold we should cross.”
Since the facility’s first long-term mission “Expedition 1”, humans have lived on the International Space Station every second of the next 7,300 days, and today this large-scale laboratory in the field of football is running at 17,500 miles per hour. Wandering around the earth.
Although the future of the station is still uncertain, the expectations of the station far exceed expectations-engineers gave it a life expectancy of 15 years. NASA believes that the International Space Station (ISS) can remain operational until around 2028, but it depends on whether the United States and other countries continue to provide funding for the project, up to billions of dollars a year.
The private space company hopes to build a new space station with the help of NASA. Some may be more beautiful than current stations, or have more space.
But no matter what happens next, engineers and commercial operators will use the space station as the basis for all our future space travel efforts.
They will learn from the crew’s solutions to common engineering problems, for example, when an astronaut used tea to find a leak in one of the main modules of the station. Based on the ISS research, they can study in more depth how to grow fresh produce in a non-planetary way, or how the human body responds to months of microgravity.
It’s like “trying to build a house and living in it at the same time”
NASA astronaut Shepherd said the first day of Expedition-1 was “busy” because the crew was preparing to broadcast to leave their spacecraft and enter the space station.
He told NASA in October 2015: “People are very busy during their initial work, especially finding TV connectors and TV cables.” The wires make everything so happy that we almost missed it. ”
The team finally successfully hung up the equipment, although things did not really calm down: the crew spent more than four months conducting 22 scientific experiments between connecting the sites together. The shepherds likened their mission to “trying to build a house and live at the same time.”
While performing the mission, Shepherd, Krikalev, and Gidzenko installed the station’s solar panels, which increased the station’s power and added a $1.4 billion US “destiny” research module. They also exercise for many hours a day to prevent bone and muscle loss that may occur in microgravity.
On March 18, 2001, the crew packed their luggage and left their replacement, and then left: Expedition 2 on NASA’s space shuttle Discovery. However, the legacy of Expedition 1 remains in the installation area, and it has left unexpected surprises, such as information engraved on the aluminum cover of the ventilation duct.
Shepard said: “I wrote on the back of the book that this was something made by the first expedition, and I thought no one could see it.” But in 2014, one of the crew finally found his information.
He said: “There are other things hidden in various parts of the original module of the space station. I think people haven’t discovered it yet… but one day,”
With the development of the space station, its use has also grown
In the first 20 years, due to nearly 100 manned missions, the ISS now has dozens of modules or parts installed by astronauts and astronauts. Overall, the living space of the flight laboratory is now larger than a six-bedroom house.
As it grows larger, the ambition to use the site grows. Now, most crew members have conducted more than 200 experiments during the six-month mission, a 10-fold increase from twenty years ago.
Since 2000, 3,000 scientific experiments have been conducted at the station. The crew’s work ranges from growing fresh produce in space to studying how life in space affects the human body, which is crucial before the long-term implementation of the moon landing program. Mars begins.
In a famous example, known as “Gemini Research,” NASA astronaut Scott Kelly spent 340 days on the space station. His identical twin brother and astronaut Mark remain on Earth.
Studies have found that Scott Kelly’s time at the station may change his weight, bone density, and even the way his genes express themselves.
In addition to scientific research, the staff of the International Space Station also helped film feature films, such as the IMAX movie “Space Station.” Recently, NASA has accelerated the commercial activities of the facility. In October, it sent out Estee Lauder skin care products bottles and instructed astronauts to photograph them for commercial advertising. The agency is also negotiating with a production company to produce a space-based reality show called “Space Heroes”, which will allow a winner to travel to the station and live there for 10 days.
Keep $150 billion worth of homes in operation
The ISS cost the construction and operation of NASA and other space agencies approximately $150 billion. Like any large and delicate house, it requires constant maintenance and repairs. The agency still spends about US$3 billion to US$4 billion each year so that the crew can keep the station running normally.
Sometimes work takes them outside. To date, the crew has performed at least 231 spacewalks, many of which have performed maintenance work.
Such operations, also known as “extravehicular activities”, usually require concentration and endurance because they expose the crew to the dangers of space more naked. They are also very annoying, because the spacesuit called “extravehicular maneuvering device” weighs about 280 pounds and restricts the normal movement of the human body.
However, they are not all risky annoying things: retired astronaut Peggy Whitson had previously told them when Business Insider talked about a moment outside the International Space Station (ISS), They may also be dazzled at rare moments.
“I can see myself in a spacesuit and see the earth behind me in the solar panels. I thought,’Holy cow, I am really an astronaut!’ Because you forgot, you are at this moment. .You are finishing your work,” Whitson said.
Astronaut Terry Virts also experienced his own Zen moment during the maintenance process. When he had a short break, he stopped when the space station was 240 miles above the earth.
The retired astronaut wrote in his book “How to Tell Astronomers”: “The only sound I heard was the faint, harsh whine of the spacesuit fan, and my own breathing. In a few glorious seconds, only me and the entire universe.”: “Guide for Insiders Leaving the Earth.” (Astronauts sometimes describe powerful “overview effects” based on this experience.)
However, he added that such moments are rare.
“Ninety-nine percent of my time is spent repairing equipment, storing gears, applying grease on bolts, and running on a treadmill. 1% of my time is heard from God and never thought of From the perspective of creation,” he wrote.
Even if the crew is working around the clock to keep the station in normal working order, unexpected problems will occur.
Since 2000, the staff on the International Space Station (ISS) have dealt with more than a dozen moderate to severe maintenance issues, including oxygen generator failure, air leakage and damaged solar panels.
In recent years, this type of problem has become more common, especially in Russia where some of the oldest modules are located. The department saw that the toilet closed down, the oxygen supply system malfunctioned, and the air leaks intensified.
The crew discovered the leak by observing the tea leaves floating in microgravity, and then patched it with Kapton tape until it could be repaired permanently.
As the International Space Station (ISS) enters its twilight years, such problems may only become more common.
Astronaut Gennady Padalka told RIA Novosti on October 15, 2020: “All modules in the Russian market segment are exhausted.”
What’s next for aging but unique
The space station is expected to remain in orbit until at least 2024, although it may last until 2030.
But all good things must end. And when the International Space Station does this, other habitable stations are expected to replace it. Some companies, such as Blue Origin, are already working on their own “orbital habitat”, which will obviously lay the foundation for a space-based economy for millions of workers.
Other companies, such as Axiom, hope to build new modules that will be initially added to the space station and then separated to become part of a separate orbital outpost before the World Space Agency retreats the ISS back to the Pacific.
The Axiom project may be a welcome development, at least for the crew currently boarding the station.
When asked what they thought it was like to provide a 20th birthday gift to the International Space Station, all the three crew members of Expedition 64, the crew members Kate Rubins, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov who currently live there agreed with them Requirements.
Rubens said on a recent conference call: “We welcome all modules.” “Especially if they have some stowage space.”